Exposé Online banner

Dog Drive Mantis — How Did We Get Here?
(Bandcamp no#, 2018, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-09-18

How Did We Get Here? Cover art

From the wilds of Ontario — Mississauga, to be precise — comes this genre-defying band. With elements of math rock, post rock, jazz, and “other” among the references, they present an appealing blend. At their best, as on “Dancing on Symbols,” they get the balance right, with unusual guitar lines (Mike Papaloni) backing melodies on the alto sax (Derek Serbin), while bass (Carmen Haines) and drums (Neilroy Miranda) navigate interesting rhythmic arrangements. “Jungle Girl” is another winner, with dissonant guitar chords and sax lines that seem to be in a different key altogether, though that may be an artifact of the bizarre voicings from the guitar. There are a couple of tracks where they misstep, however, and Serbin’s sax dips into woozy schmaltz, coming off more than a bit corny. This is a tendency inherent to the alto saxophone, which by nature has less grit in its tone than tenor or baritone (soprano can be even worse, but that has nothing to do with Dog Drive Mantis). Their strongest moments are when they throw convention out the window and do something weird, like on “Chief King,” which consists of electronic noises, strange indistinct vocals, and an imaginative drum part. Still, this is a young band, and How Did We Get Here? shows a lot of promise. They have many strengths to build on, and honing their sound should take them far. Actually, Mississauga is home to more than a half million people, very near Toronto, and probably can’t be fairly described as “the wilds of Ontario,” but as far as being a home for creative music, it seems as likely as a fishing village on Hudson Bay. (Any other bands from Mississauga who wish to dispute this are welcome to send me their music.)


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Dog Drive Mantis

More info
http://dogdrivemantis.bandcamp.com/album/how-did-we-get-here

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Haystacks Balboa - Detoxified – This one came out around 1970, a one-off by a New York based band whose members weren't even listed on the LP jacket, and were never heard from again, so far as this writer knows. For some unknown...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues